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Maryland's Unique Biodiversity

Maryland-a small state-is home to a disproportionately large number of different native plant species and ecological communities. The current character of Maryland’s natural environment is not only a tale of habitat loss through direct conversion, fragmentation and unwitting destruction by development and altered landscapes in modernity but also a tale of Maryland’s historical landscape and the ebb and flow of climatic shifts in geological time.
This Chapter covers the following:
  • Why are there so many rare plants in Maryland?
  • Sources of complexity in Maryland flora
    • Disjunct plant species
    • Peripheral plant species
    • Singular plant communities
    • Regionally endemic plant communities
    • Continuing discovery
  • Conservation of Maryland’s Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants
    • Regulatory authority, responsibility and resources for native plant conservation in
      Maryland
    • What it means for a plant species to be classified rare, threatened or endangered
    • What can be learned from lists of rare, threatened and endangered plants
    • Conclusions concerning ongoing conservation of Maryland’s rare, threatened and endangered plants

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